Ankle/ foot pain after hip replacement

Posted by deb1222 @deb1222, Sep 4 2:02pm

My husband had hip replacement 2 1/2 weeks ago. His leg became very, very bruised and swollen all the way down to his toes. The swelling is better except for his ankle and foot. He is in good shape, not ,overweight. He is having what sounds like nerve pain once he steps on the foot after it being up for awhile. Takes a few minutes for the pain to subside from a 10 to eventually a 2. We’ve been icing, tried heat, taking muscle relaxers but nothing helps. Is this normal? He goes to outpt Pt for the first time tomorrow. I’m thinking Gabapentin may help ( I am a RN)

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@deb1222 Welcome to Mayo Connect. Yes, the swelling and bruising are common after hip replacement surgery. I have had 5 THR and revision surgeries and the amount of swelling, bruising and pain has varied each time. Also, nerves are cut and/or bruised in the surgical process – the amount depends on the surgical approach, the surgical process moved, even how muscles and tendons were moved or cut in the process.

On my last revision, I had the pain like you describe – after a few days it improved as the swelling went down and the pooled blood started to be absorbed. Things that can help are keeping the leg elevated whenever sitting or laying down – higher than the heart if possible. Lymphatic massage to get the fluid moving. Ankle pumps every hour or so, and before getting up can get the blood moving too. Also, icing 20-30 minutes per hour while awake, and into early sleeping hours can also help.

His physical therapist may have other suggestions.


My hip replacement was ten weeks ago. I was shocked at how bruised I was from my hip to my ankle. Super bruised on back of knee. I elevated and iced like crazy. Also, got up a walked around every 40-50 minutes.
I’m 90% recovered now. It was worth it.
I think we underestimate what major surgery this is. The first couple of weeks are a challenge.


I had left hip surgery 8 weeks ago. I was surprised at the amount of swelling and bruising. Also have that nerve pain in foot, ankle and shins. The bruising and swelling is improved but the numbness and nerve pain is still there. I have been walking and go to PT, but did not do icing for the first couple of weeks. Missed that part I guess. Maybe it would have helped?
Anyway, I hope I will be back to normal one of these weeks!

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